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dead set against

Completely opposed to, as in His parents were dead set against John's taking a year off from college. Set against has been used to mean “opposed to” since the 1400s. Dead acquired the meaning “utterly” in the 16th century.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for dead set against
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mamma is dead set against the artistic, and I'm dead set against the fashionable.

    The Coast of Bohemia William Dean Howells
  • They are dead set against England, and claim to belong to France.

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • The dead set against him extended from the Fifth Form downwards.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting
  • "Mother isn't so dead set against our going there," Nan informed her.

    The Four Corners

    Amy Ella Blanchard
  • Nobody knows why they are so dead set against letting any one through.

    Fore! Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • Never had the Swiss been so dead set against their foes; and "as cruel as at Morat" was for a long while a common expression.

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
  • Nobody refused, not even General Dow, who is so dead set against foraging.

    Diary of an Enlisted Man Lawrence Van Alstyne
  • Every man of us was dead set against abandoning the buffalo range.

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